Arts Courses Scotland
Home of haggis, caber-tossing and the largest annual arts festival in the world, Scotland is known for its rich history, cultural diversity, striking and wild natural landscapes, distinctive national traditions and impenetrable local accents. Fancy studying in the northernmost part of the UK? Read on for our guide to the top universities in Scotland, based on the 2016-2017 edition of the .
1. University of Edinburgh
First in our list of top universities in Scotland is the, the sixth-oldest university in the English-speaking world and a part of Scotland’s capital city since 1583. The ‘old town’, where the university is rooted, is frozen in time with its preserved medieval street plan and reformation-era buildings. Ranked 19th in the world and 5th in the UK, the University of Edinburgh plays a distinct role in the city’s status as both a hub of knowledge and a vibrant cultural center which nurtures fringe theater and comedy ready for the famous Edinburgh Fringe Festival every August.
2. University of Glasgow
Home to Scotland’s oldest public museum and the largest Scottish university by student population, the is also the fourth-oldest university in the English-speaking world, having been established in 1451. Ranked joint 63rd in the world, the University of Glasgow is located in the Hillhead neighborhood in Glasgow’s West End, an area known for fashion and cultural diversity. The city’s Victorian architecture is now modishly outfitted with trendy but down-to-earth bars and clubs which appeal to the Glaswegian sense of fun, allowing it to compete with Edinburgh for the title of Scotland’s cultural capital.
3. University of St Andrews
Home to around 8, 400 students, the was founded in 1410, making it the oldest of the four ‘ancient universities of Scotland’. It’s ranked 77th in the world in 2016-2017, appearing close behind Glasgow in the overall rankings and placing 14th among top universities in the UK. A small university town in rural Fife on Scotland’s east coast, St Andrews is famous for its golf course as well as its university, where more than a third of the town’s population either study or work. With the university playing such a central role in local life, the community atmosphere here is hard to beat.
4. University of Aberdeen
The is ranked joint 141st in the QS World University Rankings this year, and again claims a long history, dating back to 1495. Largely thanks to its successful North Sea oil industry, the city of Aberdeen can be just as expensive a place to live as Edinburgh or even London, but it does offer a wealth of experiences and attractions in return – including many that are free to enjoy, such as the Aberdeen Art Gallery and the Maritime Museum. The University of Aberdeen’s main King’s College campus is located two miles north of the city center in the Old Aberdeen district, and boasts an 11-acre botanical garden and a £57 million state-of-the-art library which opened in 2012.
5. University of Dundee
Ranked 244th in world, the claims to be the ‘Friendliest Campus in Scotland’ and is situated right in the heart of Dundee city center amongst a vibrant culture of music, theatre and history. Many of the university’s facilities are highly modern, thanks to a recent £200 million redevelopment program. Located on the east coast of the central lowlands of Scotland, Dundee’s industrial expansion in the 19th century led to it becoming known as the city of ‘jute, jam and journalism’. Prospective students of the University of Dundee may be interested to hear that Dundee is known as the sunniest city in Scotland and has the mildest climate in the region.
6. University of Strathclyde
Scotland’s third-largest university in terms of student population (with over 15, 000 undergraduates alone), the is the second in our list of top universities in Scotland to be based in the city of Glasgow. Founded in 1796 and ranked joint 272nd in the world, the University of Strathclyde is known for its innovative and entrepreneurial ethos. The university now boasts a new Technology and Innovation Center, which “revolutionizes the way researchers in academia and industry collaborate and innovate together” and is expected to boost both employment and investment opportunities in Glasgow.
7. Heriot-Watt University
Established in 1821 and located in the Scottish capital Edinburgh, is ranked joint 327th in the world. Once located solely in the city center, the university completed its move to the leafy suburb of Riccarton, approximately six miles from the city center, in the 1990s. The Heriot-Watt University campus itself is situated on 380 acres of parkland and boasts some of the best sports facilities in the region. Heriot-Watt has a large population of international students, with almost 30% of its 9, 100 students on its UK campuses coming from abroad.
8. University of Stirling
The youngest university to make our list of top universities in Scotland, the was founded in 1967 by Royal Charter. Ranked 385th in the world, the university is situated just two miles outside of Stirling city center, where Stirling Castle sits atop the plug of an extinct volcano, presenting an extraordinary view from both above and below. The city itself surrounds the castle, with the high ground known for its preserved Victorian Gothic architecture and the lower ground offering modernity and commercialism in a city that combines the best of old and new.